Syrah / Shiraz Wine
Learn about Syrah — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah, also known as Shiraz, accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.
Syrah and Shiraz wine also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style.
Tasting Notes for Syrah/Shiraz
Syrah/Shiraz is a dry, red wine that typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.
Perfect Food Pairings for Syrah/Shiraz
Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.
Sommelier Secrets for Syrah/Shiraz
Syrah once played a role as a blending partner to the austere Cabernet in Bordeaux as it added some body and texture. Now, Australians are fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.
Cayuse Armada Syrah 2004Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Big Basin Rattlesnake Rock Syrah 2004Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Cruz Mountains, California